Sander, Daniëlle & EmilyOur Family life...

Our Family life...

Day 5: Concord, NC > Atlanta, GA

What a night, Emily slept in her own hotelbed! Daniëlle and I were lucky enough to get the king size bed. Unfortunately Emily woke up quite often looking for us as she slept behind a 1,5 meter high wall… besides that the beds were not great either.

At 7am we were all really awake and we planned on a morning in the water park but we quickly found our that it only opened at 10am. After breakfast we strolled through the hotel and we kept Emily busy till the pool opened as she was asking to go there since the moment she opened her eyes.

As soon as we entered the pool she took of her shoes and swim cover and wanted to go in the kiddie section. Here she went 2 times from the yellow slides and 9 times from the blue slide. Next step was the wave pool and from there we went to the bigger slides!

When we got upstairs to go down the big bucket dropped over us and that is something Emily does not like so much. But after 10 seconds of being sad it was our turn to slide. Emily went down the orange and I went down the green slide. We didn’t bring the GoPro so no new pictures of the pool today.

From the pool we went back to the room changed in dry clothes, helped mama packing the last items and we jumped in the car towards Atlanta.

First stop was a nearby Starbucks for coffee and a simple sandwich as we were all hungry. Somehow we forgot to get gas and thus we stopped again after 75 Miles, just after we entered South Carolina. Here we learned that they don’t trust people from out of state, I needed to leave my Credit Card as deposit to get 38$ of gas…

From the gas station we had a very exciting…not…drive over the I-85 (this was almost the only road we used today) until just couple minutes before we reached our destination for the day.

When we arrived at the hotel we were surprised the hotel looked amazing and the staff is very friendly and helpful. So far the best of our of 4 hotels this trip. And the already nice rooms are even up for renovations this year. After the first got a room with only 1 bed we ended up getting an upgrade to a double corner room with club lounge access on top.

After settling in our room we went to the Perimeter mall, we took the shuttle based on advice from the employees. It was clearly to far to walk, the shuttle took us, give or take a couple, 45 seconds!

In the mall we met up with Alex (aka No-Alex or No-Juli) and Juli with their friend Kai from Stuttgart in Germany. A little while later Nicole (colleague from work) and her mother joined us for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

In the beginning Emily was extremely shy but after a little while she got back to being her regular self. And that meant we had a a lot of fun besides our delicious dinner. We had dragons, a lot of phone calls, tickling, cleaning the table and the glass work and last but not least Alex and I were forced to eat directly from our plate by Emily. After a while Emily was tired and wanted to got to bed.

On the way back she was a bit sad as Juli wasn’t with us anymore. Almost weird as she didn’t say a lot to Juli throughout dinner although she was sitting right beside her.

Back in our room we got a call from Angel from the reception, she wanted to give us something from room service. We received a customized cheese and fruit platter for Emily and us. We saved it in the fridge for tomorrow…

And now I’m tired too…but I can’t wait for tomorrow when we meet up with even more friends!

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Day 4: Washington, DC > Concord, NC

If everything goes according to plan today will be the longest travel in both distance and time.

But first the story from yesterday, late in the evening when both my princesses where already in bed I decided to settle our bill. Everything was fine I only paid 1 out of the 2 nights and as an additional bonus they also didn’t charge us for parking (28$/night) and we got fee breakfast (14$/person)! I’d say I did like the outcome, to bad we need to spend time on it. The hotel itself was very good and the location was perfect.

Back to today, at 6:41am the little princes decided that it was time to switch from the bed with mama to the bed with papa. That including a pretty loud announcement and without holding back she started jumping on my chest, at least she said “Papa I missed you” which made a lot bit more bearable.

From there we got ourselves ready, Emily and I loaded the first suitcases. And when mama was ready we went to the breakfast, I’m glad that we didn’t spent money on it, it was only slightly better as the free breakfast at a Holiday Inn Express.

9:00am sharp we drove out of the parking garage for our 384 Miles long drive to the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina. For the European readers this a the North American variant of CenterParcs. Difference are that it’s a hotel and a single building and the pool is more exciting but less themed.

But we still had about 6 hours driving to do. Unfortunately we told Emily that she was going to swim today, she asked about it roughly every 15 minutes! The road was very boring we drove over 3 interstates the I-395, the I-95 and the I-85.

But lucky for us we found some entertainment along the road in getting gas at WaWa, shopping at a Target.

Just after we drove over the border of North Carolina, State #7 we stopped and tried out a new restaurant for lunch. The restaurant was Bojangles but it was a disappointment, the staff didn’t even knew their own menu and the service was, even for fast food, terrible. After lunch Daniëlle drove the last 2 hours and soon we arrived at the Lodge.

The lodge was way bigger as we imagined and we called see it from far away. When we checked in, or better to say got our paperwork as I checked in online yesterday already, we learned that the bracelet where like MagicBands they were your credit card, your room key and your ID. Perfect for a hotel build around an indoor water park/pool.

We got to our room, changed in our bathing suits and we were off to the kids splash area. Emily went from the yellow slide, then the blue slide and played a little bit.

Finally we convinced her to leave and go into the wave pool. She loved it…she was jumping and running until she wanted to checkout the section for bigger kids.

At first we thought adults weren’t allowed but apparently at least one us needed to accompany her. First we played with buckets and other water spraying elements until Emily wanted to slide… There were 2 longer slides and I would have not believed that she went of either one of them if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. And she didn’t only went once, she went 3 times until she decided that she wanted to eat a pretzel!

After dinner in the water area we jumped one more time in the wave pool before wen went back to our room to get dressed and see a short nighttime show for kids in the lobby. After the show it was time for bed.

When we got back to the room it was a little challenge to get Emily to sleep in her own bed for a night but good old Edwin, her interactive rubber ducky helped us out playing some lullabies, it’s also a Bluetooth speaker!

Tomorrow we’ll start in the water area and around lunch we’ll be starting to drive to our next stop!

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Day 3: Washington DC

Good morning world, I had an excellent sleep! Emily slept well to and Daniëlle had some tiny challenges as in tiny feet, tiny hands making gigantic movements! It’s always an adventure to sleep in the same bed as your toddler!

At 8:45am we left the hotel walking with Emily in a stroller to Crystal City Station where we purchased our Smartrip passes for today. We waited for the next metro to come to go to L’Enfant Plaza, this is one of the closest metro stations near the National Mall.

During the trip we also entered State no. 6, the District of Columbia!

The National Mall and the surrounding area include some of the most iconic sculptures, memorials and museums. We’ve only visited the outdoor ones as we had beautiful weather today with 31 Celsius and beautiful blue skies. In order of appearance in below pictures: The National Monument, the World War II Monument, the Lincoln Memorial Reflection Pool and the Lincoln Memorial with some pictures of Emily in and out of her stroller in between.

From old Abe we continued our stroll through the Capitol towards the house of Donald & Melania Trump. It’s much smaller as I expected.

Emily was exhausted after we had a short break/water/ice tea stop at a Starbucks nearby the White House and she slept within 2 blocks from there. She continued sleeping for about an hour while we walked along the Capital Building and some other landmarks.

Emily woke up when we entered the second elevator in L’Enfant Plaza Station where we took the yellow line metro back to Crystal City.

At 4pm we got back in our hotel we wanted to visit the pool but this is only open seasonally which means means June, July and August… Since Emily was still a bit tired we decided to take it easy for a couple hours and while Emily watched Disney Junior we found out that the hotel charged a very high amount of $s to our credit card for whatever reason.

Needless to say I went down to the reception and after a some explaining to the manager the charge was reversed quickly. But that would still leave us with a foreign exchange conversion fee from our bank…to be continued!

At 5:30pm we left on a mission for ice-cream! And we were successful at the Coldstone Creamery. Somehow we also are excited to go and order our ice-cream or milkshake but it’s always a little but of an disappointment either due to the service (this time) or the not so tasteful treat as I had imagined (also this time).

Now it was time to go back to our room for a bath and our bed! On our way in the lobby the story continued, we got a full night refunded although we did not hear this from the manager as he wasn’t available but it was in the system. Let’s see if this is still the case tomorrow…

While Emily is on bathing I’m finishing up the blog and I’m so tired I almost fall a sleep while writing and it is only 7:30pm…

Tomorrow we have the longest drive of the trip planned and Emily is already excited to get back in the car!

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